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Bask in the Aloha Spirit in Waikiki

Over the years, Iíve spent tons of time on beaches all over the Southeastern states. Before my first trip to Hawaii over a decade ago, I didnít think there would be much of a difference. A beach is beach, right? Well, it turns out I was wrong. Iíve been to Hawaii multiple times since my first visit, and each time, I find it harder and harder to leave. Especially Waikiki. Even though you canít bring your RV, what you can bring is your walking shoes and a willingness to embrace the island spirit. And itís not hard to do. Waikiki has everything a vacationer could ask for: beautiful beaches, lots of activities to choose from, and gorgeous Pacific sunsets. Before you leave, youíll already be planning your return trip.

The Waikiki Banyan is located just a block from Waikiki Beach. Koko Resorts offers a vast array of condo rentals at the Banyan for every budget, including ones with dazzling views of the Pacific Ocean. Other perks include an awesome pool deck complete with two hot tubs, a playground, barbecue grills. Plus, Koko Resorts offers first come first serve rentals such as surfboards, car seats, beach toys, beach umbrellas and chairs. Got a rental car? No problem, Koko Resorts also offers free parking in garage as well.

Dine: Ruffage Natural Foods, located at 2443 Kuhio Avenue, features vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menu items including sandwiches, smoothies, burritos, chili, acai bowls and lasagna.

Do: Free lessons at Royal Hawaiian Center. Ukelele lessons are held Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Paíina Food Court and hula lessons are held on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Royal Grove.

Visit: In 1901, Moana Surfrider became the first hotel built in Waikiki. Not only is this hotel gorgeous, but it features a wonderful museum chronically the hotelís history. Free guided tours are also held several times a week.

Dine: Hula Grill at the Outrigger Waikiki hotel features an open air dining patio with great views of the beach, ocean and Diamond Head.
Drink: Get your Kona caffeine buzz on at Honolulu Coffee Company located in the Moana Surfrider hotel.

Hang: Waikiki Beach is rated one of the top beaches in the world, and itís no surprise. Sunbathing, surfing, standup paddle boarding, and swimming are all in fashion here.

Shop: Want some great deals? Head to the Aloha Stadium Swap meet where there is no shortage of budget-friendly Hawaiian themed gifts and souvenirs.

Go: Hanauma Bay is the place to be for budget-friendly snorkeling with no shortage of inspiring views.

Dine: Ala Moana Centerís food court is a sight to behold. Every kind of food, especially Asian, can be found there.

Shop: Royal Hawaiian Center is one of my favorite places to hang in Waikiki. This four-story, open aired mall is great for shopping or just taking a leisurely stroll. The mall also features a festive food court.

Dine: Tikiís Grill and Bar features a great second story patio restaurant with views of the beach and live music nightly.

Shop: Ala Moana Center is a huge four story shopping mall that has everything you could want or need.

Do: take leisurely strolls along Kalakaua Avenue where you can see the beach, people watch, and experience fabulous sunsets.

Go: Magic Island is a popular oceanside park located just north of Waikiki with plenty of room to stroll, take in amazing views of Diamond Head, Honolulu and sunsets, and take a dip in the scenic lagoon.

Hike: No trip to Waikiki is complete without hiking Diamond Head state monument. This moderate hike offers expansive views of Waikiki and the Pacific ocean.

Shop: Whole Foods, located at 4211 Wai'alae Avenue, is just a few short miles from Waikiki Beach and is a must for buying your staple foods.

Grocery: Down to Earth grocery store, located at 2525 S King Street, features fresh, organic foods and is a short hop, skip and a jump from Waikiki Beach.

Shop: Did you know there are over 39 ABC stores on the island of Oahu? ABC stores are the place to go for all of your snacks, food, souvenirs, Hawaiian clothing, beach accessories, liquor and much more.

Do: Take the free Hilo Hattie shuttle to their flagship store. Not only do you get a fun shopping trip, but an open air sightseeing tour.

Fly: Hawaiian Airlines, of course. The moment you step onto the plane youíll be engulfed in the Aloha spirit.

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